“When I first became religious,” the young man told me, “the English Kitzur that I received for my bar mitzvah taught me everything. It became my ‘rav.’”
No sefer can ever really replace a flesh and blood rabbi, of course, but if there is one halachah work that can give every Jew, scholar and layman alike, a concise and understandable explanation of halachah, it is the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
Now, with the publication of the fifth volume of The Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, the set is complete.
Written in 1864, reprinted more than twenty times in the lifetime of its author, Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, and hundreds of times since, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is one of the most widely disseminated halachah sefarim of all time. It is a masterpiece of clarity, the classic guide to the laws of daily living for Ashkkenazic Torah-observant Jewry – as usable and relevant today as it was 125 years ago.
Dedicated with great vision by Elly and Brochie Kleinman, The Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch has made the timeless words of the Kitzur widely available to the English-speaking public, making this classic work useful in an unprecedented way. Using the integrated style of ArtScroll’s Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud, the Kleinman Edition of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch offers readers a fully vowelized Hebrew text, followed by a phrase by phrase translation and elucidation, as well as introductions to explain unfamiliar concepts. To make the Kitzur even more useful as a contemporary halachic reference, the footnotes include rulings from the Chofetz Chaim’s halachic classic, Mishneh Berurah, and from Rav Moshe Feinstein’s Igros Moshe, whenever their rulings differed from those of Rav Ganzfried.
The newly-released fifth, final volume in the set covers the gamut of the Jewish life cycle, including the laws of marriage, chupah and sheva berachos and an extraordinarily comprehensive yet concise section on hilchos nidah; the halachos of bris milah and chinuch banim, bikur cholim and aveilus. Also included is a section on the halachos of business law, loans and interest, damages and beis din.
The Kitzur is, in a sense, the “rav” of the Jewish people. And now, with the completion of The Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, we can all learn from this beloved “rav.”
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